When people hear the word “pilgrimage,” many think of far-off destinations, such as Lourdes, Fatima, or Santiago de Compostela.

Today, in the digital era, we have the opportunity to make a pilgrimage without ever leaving our hometown. In fact, the U.S. Bishops are asking Catholics to consider making a digital pilgrimage with the intention of the respect for and protection of all human life.





Christians have been making pilgrimages since the Apostolic Age, motivated not only by the desire to venerate holy relics and places, but also to make a prayer out of their journey.

Whether they are walking for a month across France and Spain to Santiago de Compostela or flying to Mexico to visit the apparition site of Our Lady of Guadalupe, pilgrims make sacrifices often resulting in aching feet and weary bones, but also in an increased love for the Lord and gratitude for all of His blessings.

As wonderful and spiritually enriching as these opportunities are, monetary, physical and family circumstances often keep us from embarking on such journeys. However, just because we can’t trek 30 miles per day, we can still undertake a pilgrimage—a prayerful and sacrificial journey for a special intention.

This January 22nd marks the anniversary of the infamous 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion throughout pregnancy. Forty-two years later, over 56 million children’s lives have been ended, and their parents, grandparents, siblings and many others suffer in the aftermath.

Of course, the unborn are not the only ones whose lives we should petition God to protect. We should pray regularly for the hungry, those without shelter, persons with disabilities, and all who are vulnerable. Increasingly, as more states consider legalizing doctor-assisted suicide, we should also pray that all those nearing the end of their lives may receive care that respects the sanctity of their lives. The Church recognizes and joyfully proclaims that each person’s life has value—from conception to natural death.

It is with this intention for the respect and protection of human life in mind that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops invites all Catholics to make a 9 day digital pilgrimage. “9 Days for Life” will take place January 16-24, 2016 (the nine days surrounding the anniversary of Roe v. Wade). To participate, visit www.9daysforlife.com and sign up for daily alerts (accessible via email, text message, or an app) or download and print the novena.

Together, people across the country can unite in prayer for the protection of life at all stages.

Along with daily prayer intentions, “9 Days for Life” also provides reflections, suggested acts of reparation, and additional resources. One important aspect of pilgrimages is that the participant grows spiritually and perhaps even develops some resolutions by the pilgrimage’s completion. “9 Days for Life” seeks to foster a deeper understanding of the value of life and encourages participants to continue to pray, support and advocate for life long after the pilgrimage’s end.

Download the FREE App for Android Devices: http://bit.ly/Android-9DaysForLife

Download the FREE App For Applle iOS Devices: http://bit.ly/iOS-9DaysApp

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  1. I do not understand: the Catholic Church in USA are Strong supporters of the Democratic Party and its Leaders, just look what Obama, Nancy Pelosi have accomplished by strongly supporting abortion. And these Catholic Leaders ( priests, bishops and Cardinals) are silent about the unborn. Nobody speaks up!! Why are they afraid of Obama??

    • I know how you feel. I grew up in a strong Democratic Italian American family. They were generational Democrats. At one time that party represented the working man, the new immigrant, the union worker, the little guy who needed someone to go to bat for him. Along the way it became distorted from it’s purpose and now for myself represents some of the evils of our society. All I know is I can’t reconcile my faith and that party together so I choose my faith.

    • Because if you read the bible Jesus preached for peace, feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, healing the sick, treating your neighbors like yourself, and preached wealth will make it harder for the rich to get into heaven. The Republicans help the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer. Republicans are against abortion, but do not want to provide a safety net once the babies are saved. Many democrats are against abortion, but are for birth control which the Catholic Church is against. Surely the church will come around eventually to save babies lives. If you line up the things in common between the Catholic Church and Republicans and then the church with Democrats, Catholicism has more in common with the Dems. Have a great day!

      • Susie,
        Sorry to say that you are completely out of touch with reality. The policies of the Democratic party, which are intended to help people are the same policies that are helping create more and more poor people. The welfare program mostly destroyed many families because it replaced God with Government as the provider. Fathers in the home as the main provider was replaced with Government program. Democrat party of today wants to expand government any way possible in order to “help people” while the Republicans wants to help people by creating more jobs, which is the best way to help people economically instead of government assistance. There are both good and bad people in both parties I agree but clearly today’s Democrapic party is very destructive! Search and find out why “Little Sisters of the Poor” is suing this Dumbocratic administration to get them off the sisters back. I just cannot understand how any decent human being, especially if you believe in God, or if you are a Christian how they could support the Demoncrap party, they are clearly against you, the party has left you.

  2. It amazes me how the American Church has become so vocal about social issues, yet when slavery was the law of the land, the bishops never opened their mouths. Or when innocent black people were being mistreated, abused and killed for no other reason but the color of their skin, the American church once again was….silent. So let the bishops keep their little campaigns. Until they can preach the Gospel as St. Paul says “in season and out of season,” and make reparations for their silence in the past, I can’t be bothered.

    • Dominic, do you have a realistic suggestion for how the bishops could go back and change the way their forbears responded to the question of slavery in the US?

    • Catholic citizens and clergy were very much involved in the Civil Rights movement here. It’s called social justice. We marched and protested, boycotted, spoke at rallies, etc. Off the top of my head Dorothy Day of the Catholic Worker Movement and Fr. Berrigan come to mind. Don’t forget the Kennedys either.

    • “Isn’t it remarkable that atheists, who did virtually nothing to oppose slavery, condemn Christians, who are the ones who abolished it?” – Dinesh D’Souza

      I might add as well this opening quote from Rodney Stark writing in Christianity Today in his article The Truth About the Catholic Church and Slavery, “The problem wasn’t that the leadership was silent. It was that almost nobody listened.” And, Papal condemnations of slavery were made by Popes Gregory XIV (1591), Urban VIII (1639), Innocent XI (1686), Benedict XIV (1741), and Pius VII (1815). In 1839, Pope Gregory XVI and Pope Leo XIII (1890) both wrote condemning slavery, as did the Second Vatican Council (1965).

      How’s that?

    • Do I understand you? Because black people were abused and killed, we should allow unborn babies to be killed? Living in the past allows no chance to improve the future. Maybe we should follow what Jesus commanded. “Love on another as I have loved you.”


    • Actually if you pick up a history book, catholics were discriminated against by the protestants which made up most of the country since its founding. The south was made up of mostly protestants who hated Catholics, so if any voice by a catholic was against slavery, you can be assured that he was gonna be silenced.

    • Actually, the Catholic Church did preach against slavery. They didn’t have media to report on it but they did it. St. Peter Claver worked with the slaves in South America. There are stories of Popes and other religious bargaining for slaves and setting them free.

    • Get out of the Catholic church if all you have is anger and distain for it, how about you pray for the church and the leaders and priests, and yourself, believe in God!

  3. Folks. Let’s start simple…. Love your neighbor!!! Just start there. and who is my neighbor? I presided at the 7:00am Christmas Mass in a suburban parish and there were two Sub Continent Indian women at prayer, both in Saris….. It was obvious that they were new to this parish. They sat by themselves off to the side and prayed quietly (as most people do at the 7:00am Masses). They did not come for communion and I do not know why. My assumption was that they were visitors and from a different rite and did not feel right about communing… I failed to ask them after Mass. That said, a very faithful member of the community commented to another after Mass, saying, “Did you see those two Muslim woman at Mass this morning?” I could NOT believe my ears. So, let’s keep it simple. Love your neighbor whomever he or she may be. Respect your neighbor, whomever he or she may be. Get it right on the ground and maybe we will get it right in DC.

  4. Ike, maybe this will help you better understand – I’m a 60 year old registered Democrat who believes in helping the downtrodden of our society via the Democratic party but I fight WITHIN the party against abortion and other issues I believe the party should not support. There are issues I believe ALL people should support such as the preservation of life, no matter in what party a person is enrolled.

  5. We need to pray for peace within ourselves. If we live the life God has asked us to live it doesn’t matter if you are a Republican or a Democrat. I am a Christian and I vote for the person who shows the Christian beliefs. Prayer is the only way we can get our country to protect those that are less fortunate and the unborn. Do not judge unless you lest ye be judged. Jesus we trust in you.

  6. Wonderful comments. I agree with some and disagree with others, but applaud how respectful the tone of each is. Even as you disagree, you model a true follower of Jesus. I enjoyed reading the comments as much as the article.


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